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Old November 15 2010, 08:42 PM   #16
T'Girl
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

Timo wrote: View Post
But the Prometheus sections apparently didn't. Only one sickbay was used and implied
While perhaps each section would not possess a full sick bay, there would only be one of those, it would seem to make sense that each section would have a emergency room/clinic arrangement, to handle combat casualties.

In both The Making of Star Trek and in the FJ blueprints the Enterprise Prime had a second smaller sick bay down in the engineering section.
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Old November 15 2010, 10:47 PM   #17
dgguy2006
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

It would seem to be more efficient to have full facilities on the fully crewed primary section, and only small essential facilities on the sections with minimal crew.

While at first I thought a true twin-hull vessel would be very cool looking, after all the discussion about it, it would make more sense to have one large fully crewed section, with 2-3 additional smaller sections with minimal crew requirements at all. This design would also lend itself to more traditional Starfleet ship styles, I suppose.
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Old November 15 2010, 10:58 PM   #18
BillJ
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

T'Girl wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
MVAM as a ship design is stupid.
Considering the "MVAM" attack by the separated Enterprise Dee upon the Borg cube in The Best of Both Worlds that resulted in the rescue of Captain Picard, apparently not all that stupid.


But it wasn't why it was designed that way. The reason why the plan worked was because Riker knew the Borg would ignore the saucer, based on the knowledge of what the saucer was when extracted from Picard. Riker was using it in a way that wasn't intended by the designers.

The Borg wouldn't ignore the saucer a second time and they wouldn't ignore the sub-components of something like the Prometheus.
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Old November 15 2010, 11:00 PM   #19
sojourner
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

T'Girl wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
MVAM as a ship design is stupid.
Considering the "MVAM" attack by the separated Enterprise Dee upon the Borg cube in The Best of Both Worlds that resulted in the rescue of Captain Picard, apparently not all that stupid.


You did read the sentence directly below the one you quoted from me? I said the tactic was smart. As a ship design, it's stupid.
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Old December 14 2010, 10:21 PM   #20
The Inquisitor
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

I don't necessarily think MVAM is a stupid idea. I understand the argument against but also think there are some fairly strong arguments for.

Firstly, it was designed to be piloted by minimal crew for the soul purpose of combat (it can be piloted by a mere 4 personnel if i remember correctly). Such a vessel would not require the perks and facilities of a mainline exploration starship (holodecks, science facilities etc.). Also, its high degree of automation also negates the need for a large crew. The less crew on board the less space and energy required to accommodate them.

Generally speaking the more opponents you face the lower your chance of victory. History dictates that if you are surrounded you are effectively stuffed (take any major European war from the Napoleonic to WW2). Having a ship that splits into 3 just gives you more options in a fight and options are always a bonus in a crisis.

I should imagine the extra surface area exposed after MVAM is initiated would be a bonus due to previously hidden phaser strips being exposed and added to the already formidable arsenal.

Either way, I will search for a more Prometheus/MVAM based thread to carry on sticking my ore in. In regards to the original post I should imagine grav plating could be fitted however you like, as long as 'Warning: Variable Gravity Area' signs were posted nearby. I can imagine the accidents now.
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Old December 15 2010, 05:17 AM   #21
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

^Yea, all of these points have been shot down in other MVAM threads.
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Old December 15 2010, 09:56 AM   #22
The Inquisitor
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

I have read other threads on the subject and I don't think they have been 'shot down'. The fact you don't like the idea doesn't make it stupid. Would you rather face one massive guy in a fight or three smaller faster ones? I still think it makes sense to some degree. the separation only need take place in combat situations. In a future where FTL travel is common place and holograms become sentient, a ship like the Prometheus shouldn't pose any great technological barriers. Options in a fight are never a bad thing, plus, if things go awry do a runner and leave one section behind to cover your escape.
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Old December 16 2010, 03:00 PM   #23
Timo
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

FWIW, "multi-vector attack mode" is the most probable future of real-world combat, at least in air combat. No, the aircraft probably won't launch in a physically attached gaggle (although variants of that have also been suggested), but they'll operate in formations where one crewed fightercraft commands a couple of non-crewed fighters that probably are at least the same size as the crewed unit, and carry the same category of engines and armaments.

That's solely because the rich warfighting nations don't want to lose live people. Robots may be more expensive to create and operate than people, but only in dollars, not in political capital.

The Federation might also look beyond credits and other penalties and use the MVAM because uncrewed starships are the future of warfare. It seems quite clear that the Prometheus components were to be flown uncrewed, because we saw one bridge for four people, and Starfleet only had four people who could fly the ship; nobody left for piloting the attack units!

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Old December 16 2010, 09:25 PM   #24
sojourner
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

The Inquisitor wrote: View Post
I have read other threads on the subject and I don't think they have been 'shot down'. The fact you don't like the idea doesn't make it stupid. Would you rather face one massive guy in a fight or three smaller faster ones? I still think it makes sense to some degree. the separation only need take place in combat situations. In a future where FTL travel is common place and holograms become sentient, a ship like the Prometheus shouldn't pose any great technological barriers. Options in a fight are never a bad thing, plus, if things go awry do a runner and leave one section behind to cover your escape.
Your confusing fleet tactics with the tactic of splitting a ship into parts. Yes, attacking with several small ships can have advantages over attacking with one big ship, but having your ship divide into smaller ships is a one trick pony. You do it once against the enemy and it's a surprise. The next time that enemy encounters you he will be ready for it.

Don't confuse MVAM with multiple ships. One is a toy, the other is tactics.

Let's put it this way. Of the three options, which one would you least prefer to take into a fight:

1) a single large well armed and armored ship.

2) 3 smaller ships less well armed and armored, but faster. Built for the cost of one big ship.

3) 3 smaller ships even less well armored and armored and not quite as fast as #2 due to having complicated design and components to allow them to join together as one big ship. same cost as one big ship.


It seems quite clear that the Prometheus components were to be flown uncrewed, because we saw one bridge for four people, and Starfleet only had four people who could fly the ship; nobody left for piloting the attack units!
And this makes the Prometheus even worse. All you have to do is destroy the command unit and the other two are left pilotless. Once your enemy learns of this you can be damn well sure the command unit is going to be the only thing in his sights.
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Last edited by sojourner; December 16 2010 at 09:37 PM.
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Old December 17 2010, 03:02 AM   #25
seekertwo
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

One of the TOS novels "Rules of Engagement" had the Klingon version of this idea...an automated K'tinga-class slaved to a BOP....the K'tinga did all the fighting while the BOP directed it under cloak. Worked pretty well....for awhile....
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Old December 18 2010, 12:40 PM   #26
The Inquisitor
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

Fair play, once an enemy has seen the MVAM in action once then the cat is out of the bag, but so what? The species in Star Trek have a fairly good understanding of the abilities and weaknesses of enemy craft but knowing the specs of an enemy ship doesn't guarantee victory. Well known federation vessels are attacked all the time by enemies who are familiar with their capabilities and still come out on top.

Also, just because a ship splits into three parts doesn't necessarily mean each is less well armed. From pictures of the separated segments (I don't know if these are canon, probably not) phaser strips can be seen on previously covered areas (the flat sections between the automated drone sections). This would suggest extra fire-power rather than less.

The act of splitting a ship into three isn't a tactic, it’s a tool simply allowing the user to vary his tactics, again, more options. The Prommie, when in one piece, is a pretty sturdy ship and I should imagine the 3 separate sections don't suddenly become less armoured because they aren't part of the whole any more. Nowhere is it written that the separate sections suffer from reduced fighting capacity simply because they were once part of a whole.

Regardless of cost, I would rather send a ship with 4 crew and added capabilities into battle than 3 single vessels with 50+ crew a piece. The most advanced armies in the world right now are going down this route. Why send people when you can send an automated system that doesn’t need all the systems a living being requires to function? Given that the 2 rear sections are piloted automatically doesn’t mean they would be any less dangerous (especially if piloted by dedicated combat holograms), it also gives them the option of a ‘kamikaze’ strike if things go really pear shaped. In the event of the main sections destruction then I imagine the drone sections would do exactly the same as their modern ancestors (Global Hawk etc) and carry on with their attack pattern and return home unmanned.

In a time where the dematerialisation and transportation of living beings is performed as part of every day life I struggle to see how a basic docking procedure would throw up too many problems for star fleet engineers. I think of the Prommie as 1 ship with 2 war drones attached to the rear rather than a single ship in the traditional sense.

A similar idea to the Prommie, but without the MVAM would be a Defiant class sized ship carrying the Federation equivalent of a few ‘series 5 long range tactical armour units’.

Either way, I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I see where you are coming from I just don’t think the negatives outweigh the positives. If you are right and the three smaller sections are weaker and the whole suffers from structural issues then fair enough, bad idea, but if not then I cant see too many drawbacks.
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Old December 18 2010, 04:15 PM   #27
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

The Inquisitor wrote: View Post
Would you rather face one massive guy in a fight or three smaller faster ones?
That's what the argument boils down to, but it points to the opposite of your conclusion.

I'd rather face 3 smaller, faster guys, especially if I was bigger than any one of them myself. I can target one guy exclusively, and knock him out of the fight. Now it's me vs 2 smaller, faster guys. Again, target one guy and ignore the other (and yes, take a beating from him in the process, but I'm bigger/stronger than him). Now it's me vs a smaller, faster ship.

Pick the Mother ship the first time (by knowing that or dumb luck), and you only have to beat one section. Might even get to keep the other two components as spoils of war, if you can take control after the mother ship is dead...

Makes the one big ship much more dangerous, as well. Not only wasted space when connected, but you've now got a lot of extra fuel tanks, torpedoes, etc stored all over the place, so a lot more places where taking a hit means catastrophic damage...
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Old December 18 2010, 05:17 PM   #28
sojourner
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

The Inquisitor wrote: View Post
Fair play, once an enemy has seen the MVAM in action once then the cat is out of the bag, but so what? The species in Star Trek have a fairly good understanding of the abilities and weaknesses of enemy craft but knowing the specs of an enemy ship doesn't guarantee victory. Well known federation vessels are attacked all the time by enemies who are familiar with their capabilities and still come out on top.

Also, just because a ship splits into three parts doesn't necessarily mean each is less well armed. From pictures of the separated segments (I don't know if these are canon, probably not) phaser strips can be seen on previously covered areas (the flat sections between the automated drone sections). This would suggest extra fire-power rather than less.
OK, imagine it this way. You have 100 resource points to build with. You can build one big ship that maximizes the use of points and is very strong. You can build 3 smaller ships that use 33.3 points to their fullest individually, or you build your 3-in-1 ship which gets only 30 points per ship with the last 10 points required to make them join together. All so in the first combat you get the "surprise" advantage of having 3 ships to fight with.

The act of splitting a ship into three isn't a tactic, it’s a tool simply allowing the user to vary his tactics, again, more options. The Prommie, when in one piece, is a pretty sturdy ship and I should imagine the 3 separate sections don't suddenly become less armoured because they aren't part of the whole any more. Nowhere is it written that the separate sections suffer from reduced fighting capacity simply because they were once part of a whole.
See above example regarding resource to build a ship.

Regardless of cost, I would rather send a ship with 4 crew and added capabilities into battle than 3 single vessels with 50+ crew a piece.
Not sure how you come up with this. If you can build a Prommie that only needs 4 crew, surely you can build individual ships that only need as much?
The most advanced armies in the world right now are going down this route. Why send people when you can send an automated system that doesn’t need all the systems a living being requires to function? Given that the 2 rear sections are piloted automatically doesn’t mean they would be any less dangerous (especially if piloted by dedicated combat holograms), it also gives them the option of a ‘kamikaze’ strike if things go really pear shaped. In the event of the main sections destruction then I imagine the drone sections would do exactly the same as their modern ancestors (Global Hawk etc) and carry on with their attack pattern and return home unmanned.

In a time where the dematerialisation and transportation of living beings is performed as part of every day life I struggle to see how a basic docking procedure would throw up too many problems for star fleet engineers. I think of the Prommie as 1 ship with 2 war drones attached to the rear rather than a single ship in the traditional sense.
OK, here your talking sense. Using drones is a time honored tactic and I have no problem with something the size of say - a runabout, being automated and packed full of weapons sitting in the shuttlebay. But splitting the ship into even pieces is silly. I have yet to see the modern day real world equivalent to the Prommie. You want multi-vector? build the Star Fleet version of an aircraft carrier.
A similar idea to the Prommie, but without the MVAM would be a Defiant class sized ship carrying the Federation equivalent of a few ‘series 5 long range tactical armour units’.

Either way, I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I see where you are coming from I just don’t think the negatives outweigh the positives. If you are right and the three smaller sections are weaker and the whole suffers from structural issues then fair enough, bad idea, but if not then I cant see too many drawbacks.
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Old December 18 2010, 05:25 PM   #29
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

Ah, Prometheus. Less dangerous than one equally-sized ship when connected, and no more effective (but certainly more complicated!) than a squadron of three smaller ships.

Who thought building three classes of ships just to operate together as a squadron all the time was efficient?

If you want drone ships, build drone ships (I'm all for that), but leave out the MVAM-style docking/undocking gaggle-mode madness. Those drones are most useful when they can be attached and commanded by any ship or formation at will.
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Old December 19 2010, 02:36 PM   #30
The Inquisitor
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Re: A Theoretical Physics Question

Some bloody good points above which I haven't considered in the past. I still hold that the idea isn't all as bad as its made out to be but there would be a number of significantly better ideas.

A fleet of dedicated warships utilising minimal crew and a host of drones (not originally linked to the main ship) would be a better idea. These would be complimented with cloaking technology and any other fresh of the drawing board tech.

The Prommie was the 1st of its class and would probably pave the way for more drone based assault vessels, even if the original idea was flawed.
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